How to do a 30-second skip in iTunes

June 05, 2011

A few years ago I outlined how I use a PowerMate to control system volume and certain iTunes actions. I still use that setup 100 times a day; the only thing that's changed is that I now route the actions through Keyboard Maestro instead of FastScripts or Sizzling Keys.

Recently I cobbled together a new PowerMate control that enables me to skip ahead in a podcast (or, I guess, a music track) by 30 seconds (or whatever you want). For me this was a necessity because I can't stand listening to commercials (be they on podcasts, TV, radio, etc.). Really, they tend to make me upset; it's a combination of my never caring about what's being sold, and impatience (and I'm especially impatient when I'm completely disinterested).

With this new control I can almost thoughtlessly skip over commercials as soon as I hear them start. (Yes, you could do this with just a keyboard shortcut, but I like the idea of controlling all of this iTunes stuff via the PowerMate.)

The AppleScript to jump ahead by 30 seconds is just a single line:

tell application "iTunes" to set player position to (player position + 30)

In the PowerMate preference pane I set the down+twist action to send the "^'" key sequence, and then created the following macro in Keyboard Maestro:

Keyboard Maestro settings for 30-second skip

That's it.

(Relatedly, I used to have to use AppleScripts to jump to the next track, and to toggle between play and pause, but when I moved my FastScripts stuff to Keyboard Maestro I noticed that KM included actions for those tasks (i.e., Next Track and Play/Pause Current Track).)

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